Michael J. Gilmour
Few contemporary artists have endured so long, reinvented themselves so frequently and successfully (folk, rock, country, gospel music), and contributed in such diverse media (music, film, poetry, prose, sketches) as Bob Dylan. What is more, there may be no other artist of the 20th and 21st centuries with such an unusual list of significant honours: Grammy Awards; an Academy Award (2000); a Polar Music Prize (2000); a Kennedy Center Honour (1997); honorary doctorates (Princeton University; St Andrew's University); nominations for the Nobel Prize for Literature; and a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation (2008), among them. In addition to this impressive list, Bob Dylan's music and writing is often the subject of serious academic analysis from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including literary, cultural, religious, and music studies. This article argues that the use of the Bible in the songs and other art forms that comprise the Bob Dylan canon defies simplistic systematization and containment within categories. Dylan's art is idiosyncratic, involves constant blending and bending of his sources, and is often inconsistent; a biblical image or phrase used one way in one time and place may appear quite different in another.
This chapter discusses music in Jewish contexts from the Bible until the present day. Music in Jewish religious life historically and at present includes cantillation of the Bible, the chanting of prayers, and synagogue song. Various forms of liturgical music developed among Ashkenazic Jews (Jews who lived in Europe) with nusach, modal chanting of prayers that was led by the chazzan. The artistically embellished prayer known as chazzanut is a unique musical and liturgical development. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews (Jews whose heritage is in the Mediterranean and Middle East) adopted a range of musical styles from their surroundings. The adaptation of a known song in this region to religious poetry is known as piyyutim, a well established practice for hundreds of years. Comments on modern trends on a variety of issues conclude this chapter.
Philip V. Bohlman
The growth of Jewish studies has made it possible to talk about Jewish music in entirely new and even radically different ways. Since the 1970s, the study of music has developed as one of the most productive areas of research in Jewish studies itself, and since the early 1990s discussions about Jewish music have assumed a position as one of the most challenging arenas for research and debate in musicology and ethnomusicology. For the purposes of this article, the subdisciplines and subfields of musical scholarship that have entered into productive dialogue with Jewish studies are included under the larger disciplinary umbrella of ‘Jewish music research’. The shift from Judaism and Jewish practice to music and musical practice has unfolded slowly during a period of about two centuries, but accelerated rapidly in the second half of the twentieth century, during which Jewish music research has virtually exploded.
This article surveys the repertoire of Holocaust-related music — a category encompassing commemorative music, musical settings of relevant texts, and works dramatizing events in Holocaust history — in classical and popular genres, and places these works in the context of stylistic trends and cultural-political developments. It also identifies the repertoire's most frequently employed subjects and texts — the Warsaw ghetto, Auschwitz, Anne Frank (1929–1945), children's poetry from Theresienstadt — and discusses Holocaust representation in folk song, topical song, rock and roll, jazz, and rap.